Mercans CountryIntel ® Qatar Payroll And HR Insights
The world’s primary liquid natural gas exporter, Qatar’s growth has accelerated after 1995. An economic leader in the Middle East and a major center for business and tourism, Qatar’s business-friendly environment boasts a 5.6% GDP growth rate and the fourth highest GDP per capita in the world. One of the country’s national projects is the US$200 billion government-sponsored investment program that spans an entire spectrum of sectors, industries and domains.Download PDF
With a stable, resilient economy, Qatar has enormous resources and a range of investment incentives (from the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Qatar National Research Fund, Qatar Science and Technology Park and Qatar Development Bank) to provide an empowering and business-friendly climate. The Invest Qatar Gateway allows companies to connect with other companies in Qatar and find potential partners and opportunities. Business is eased through a rigorous reform agenda, a range of resources and access to capital set in a stable environment.
Entity Registration and Incorporation Requirements
Setting up a new business or expanding an existing one in Qatar is straightforward. Choose how your company operates from a range of entity types which suit your individual circumstance.
Banking Hours: 7:30 am to 1:00 pm from Sunday to Thursday
The standard working week is from Sunday to Thursday from 9:00 am - 6:00 pm
The Labor Law of Qatar provides a number of laws and regulations which outline the legal rights, restrictions and obligations of workers, employers and worker committees. Priority in employment is given to Qatari citizens and any hiring of non-Qataris or workers from abroad requires the permission of the government. Foreigners may work in Qatar under different employers, that is, they can change employers after completing their employment contract or the employer terminates the contract (without any legal sanctions on the expatriate). Employment laws in Qatar were amended in 2020, imposing new requirements on employers and providing enhanced rights to workers.
Liquefied natural gas, crude oil, ammonia fertilizer, petrochemicals, reinforcing steel, cement, ship repair
Dates & Numbers
Official State Name
State of Qatar
International Dialing Code
Companies who operate a multi-country payroll should be aware of new legislation that was introduced to impact the employment relationship. A new national minimum wage has been introduced to take effect from March 2021. The new requirements incorporate a basic salary, accommodation allowance and food allowance where those allowances are not provided for.
It is acceptable to provide employees with online payslips
Payroll report must be kept for 5 years
Employees with one year of service receive three weeks of annual leave
2 weeks of paid sick leave
50 days of paid maternity leave. There are no legal provisions for paternity leave
Maternity & Paternity Leave
No provisions mandated by law
13th month salary
1,000 QAR per month
Overtime payment of 125% for work done between 6:00 am and 9:00 pm
3 weeks of the employee’s final basic wage for every year of service
All income of Qatari and GCC nationals resident in Qatar is exempted from tax. The Social Protection Strategy is a key part of Qatar’s social development policy aimed at creating an integrated and sustainable social welfare system.
For individuals, there is no tax on personal income. However, individuals who exercise any type of commercial activity (with the intent of gaining income) are required to pay tax according to the Companies Tax law. Company tax is applicable for any income generated from sources in the State during the previous tax year.
Corporate Income Tax
Personal Income Tax
The Ministry of Social Development and Family (MSDF) provides social security aid for needy families. The monthly allowance is QR6,000, and if the elderly person is married, then his wife gets QR2,000 and QR1,000 for each child.
Social Security Rate
Social Security Rate for Employers
Social Security Rate for Employees
While previously employers could terminate the employment of a worker, serving a probationary period, with three days’ notice, the minimum notice period is now one month. Additionally, while employers were able to include ‘non-compete’ clauses in employment contracts before (that could last up to two years), the permissible length has now been reduced to a year.
The Civil Service and Government Development Bureau reviews and authenticates employment contracts to ensure they comply with Qatar’s labor law. This is required for work contracts, work service certificates, personal sponsorship and profession amendments.
The maximum number of working hours allowed without overtime pay is 48 hours per week. Working hours are reduced to 36 per week during Ramadan. Workers are entitled to at least one day of rest per week and no employee should work two or more Fridays in a row (Friday is a common day of rest for all workers).
The law identifies all kinds of leave including annual, casual, sick, emergency, study and unpaid leave. If an employee is not able to take their full annual leave, they must take at least half of it and transfer the other half to the annual leave balance in the next year. The General Retirement & Social Insurance Authority (GRSIA) provides a service to individuals, businesses and government entities to enable them to get an estimated calculation of unpaid leave.
The service of an employee may be ended for a number of reasons including reaching the age of 60, end of contract, resignation, medical incapacity, disciplinary dismissal, loss of Qatari citizenship and death. An employee is entitled to resign provided the resignation is submitted in writing (and does not contain any condition or restriction).
Minimum notice period for terminating an employee
Total number of public holidays
Working hours per week
Up to 3 days
Total number of days for Compassionate & Bereavement Leave
Decree-Law No. 19 of 2020 has introduced changes to the Qatar Labor Law and Law No.21 of 2015 regulating the entry and exit of expatriates and their residence. It now makes it easier for employees to move to new employers. Under the previous regime, non-Qatari citizens required a No Objection Certificate (NOC) in order to transfer to a new employer. This was central to the ‘Kafala’ sponsorship system. However, this is no longer required. Non-Qatari citizens must only ensure compliance with the requirements around notice periods. An exit permit is also no longer required when moving to a new job in another country.
Residence permit applications are managed by the Ministry of Interior and may take up to six weeks. Reactivation of a residence permit on visa may be done online and this is available for both individuals as well as establishments. Renewal of the residence permit online may be done for between 1 to 3 years.
Work Permit validity
1 – 5 years
The employment contract
Completed application form, obtained from the Ministry of Labor
Medical certificate proving that the employee is in good health
Copy of the employee’s passport
Two passport photographs
Relevant educational certificates
Immigration card of the employer
Biometrics including fingerprints
Build the best team and hire top talent compliantly in Qatar. Get in touch with Qatar payroll outsourcing & PEO specialists for a free consultation!